Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County was awarded a $154,679 grant from the Minnesota Department of Health to aid in the rapid administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in the area.

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According to a press release from Olmsted County, pandemic vaccination efforts are a combined responsibility that requires close collaboration between public health, health care, and external agencies as well as community partners.

According to the release, grant funds will be used to:

1. Administer COVID-19 vaccinations as rapidly as possible, typically within one week of receipt, to prioritized groups based on jurisdictional priorities and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MDH.
2. Work with local partners (regional health care coalitions, long-term care facilities, community vaccinators, pharmacists, etc.) to ensure the vaccination of priority groups.
3. Ensure clinic hours are accessible to a wide range of individuals in the community. This includes hosting events on evenings and weekends and considering accessibility considerations (e.g. ADA compliant locations, ability to reach vaccination sites via public transportation, etc.).

“We appreciate these funds from the state to help us in our community-wide vaccination efforts,” said Olmsted County Board of Commissioners Chair Stephanie Podulke. “So many people in our community are partnering to get Olmsted County residents vaccinated as quickly as possible. In fact, more than 24 percent of Olmsted County has been vaccinated to date. We’re getting there, but it will take time. We appreciate everyone’s patience and continued adherence to COVID-19 health and safety measures.”

In total, MDH is allocating $6.9 million to local public health agencies across the state to help with vaccine implementation.

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